Eating healthfully becomes ever so important when stress threatens to consume you. With Lucy’s surgery tomorrow, there is a confusion of questions running through our minds: are we doing the right thing? Will she learn to walk on three legs? What if she doesn’t?
And the biggest one of all: how long after this will she be healthy? How long will she live?
But every night, when I lie in bed and hear her breathing hard– something dogs do when in pain– or when I hear her tumor-afflicted leg drag on the floor as she makes her way to the water bowl, I remind myself that the surgery is going to make her feel better.
Tomorrow morning I will drive her to the hospital where she will stay a day or two before coming home. The doctor says she is in good health otherwise (however ironic that sounds, all things considered) and everything should go well. In two to three weeks all the pain from the surgery should be gone and she will be happy again.
Meanwhile work has been crazy busy, leaving little time to do all those other things we do to take care of ourselves. So eating right has become imperative.
I’ve been pretty good about warding off the takeout devil and fixing something healthy and tasty in half an hour’s time or less. Like this pasta dish I’m about to share.
Pasta is a favorite at our home (as are all vegan Italian recipes) because it takes so little time to put together, is such a frugal yet healthy choice, and is immensely versatile. The fact that you can now find wholegrain pasta in your supermarket makes this wonderful food all the more guilt-free.
I used macaroni which may seem like an unusual choice, but it actually worked very well. You can go with any small pasta. I tend not to buy macaroni because when it comes to this tiny, elbow-shaped pasta, my mind refuses to venture outside the mac ‘n’ cheese box. The cheesy dish is not something I particularly liked, even in my pre-vegan days. But I do like small pastas, so I decided to finally use up a box of wholegrain macaroni I’d bought ages ago.
Because I’ve not had a chance to go to the grocery store for days now, most of the ingredients in this dish came out of the pantry or the freezer. The spinach was boxed, the peas bagged, and the olives canned. The sunflower seeds were stolen from Desi’s breakfast stash and the mint came from my backyard.
The only fresh ingredients I used were tomatoes and parsley, but you could very easily add other seasonal fresh veggies like zucchini or bell peppers.
Because I was focusing on making all this very healthy, I used some miso to flavor the parsley-mint pesto sauce that I stirred into the pasta. Miso, if you’ve never tried it, is a superfood that’s filled with healthgiving digestive enzymes.
I also used some nutritional yeast to give the pasta a mildly cheesy flavor, although you could completely leave it out.
Bye for now. And do wish me luck for Lucy tomorrow. With all of you pitching for her, we know she’s going to make it through this!
More recipes to try:
Mac ‘n’ Veggies
3/4 box of macaroni or any other small pasta (preferably wholegrain), cooked al dente
1 box frozen spinach, thawed (you can do this in the microwave, as I usually do)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 cup frozen green peas
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 cup olives, halved
Heat the oil.
Add the onion and garlic and saute over medium-low heat until translucent, about 7-8 minutes.
Add the spinach and peas and stir together. Cook until the spinach is really tender.
Add ground pepper. Turn off the heat.
Place in a bowl with the parsley-mint pesto (recipe follows).
1 cup parsley leaves
1/2 cup mint
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
1 tbsp white miso
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
Process all the ingredients together, drizzling the oil in through the feed tube, until you have a coarse paste.
Add to the bowl with the spinach. Add the cooked pasta.
Tomatoes and olives along with 1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds and 2 tbsp nutritional yeast. Add salt to taste.
Stir well together. Garnish with some parsley, if desired.
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